For as long as we have been getting tattoos we have also been looking for ways to remove them. There are a lot of reasons for wanting a tattoo removed. Whether it is something from your younger days that does not jive with your current lifestyle or an ex-lover that is haunting your skin, here is the low down on tattoo removal.
There are many different tattoo removal therapies on the market. This makes it very. Most common treatment is laser therapy. This is the most effective treatment for tattoo removal. But not all lasers are the same. This has created quite some confusion when comparing the older laser Q-Switch technology to the newer PicoSure laser. The difference is, that older laser devices just basically heated the ink. PicoSure both heats and fractures the ink so it works much more efficiently. The newer PicoSure is safer for the skin, resolves the ink in fewer treatments, and works on all colors. I am currently using the PicoSure Laser in my medical spa in downtown Melbourne. As a board certified Physician Assistant I am answering the following questions based on my experience with lasers from the past 4 years and specifically using the PicoSure. I have advanced knowledge in both the dermatology and plastic surgery fields. I hope this helps debunk some of the myths of tattoo removal. If you are curious I encourage you to call and schedule a free consultation to see more photos and learn about the amazing results our current patient are getting at Millefiori in downtown Melbourne.
MYTH. Current laser tattoo removal with the PicoSure technology does NOT cause scarring of the skin. Since this laser fires in a pico second (which is 100x faster than a nanosecond) it does not input large amounts of heat to the skin. This drastically reduces the chance of having scarring effects to the skin. Now, with that being said some of the older technology such as the q-switch yag does have risk of scarring to the skin. I have seen some bad outcomes with this laser in previous treatments. Just make sure to ask the provider about the laser that is being used and risks to the skin.
MYTH. Let me rant about this for a minute. Tattoo ink is permeant do you think a combination of all natural fruits and veggies are going to take it out. All kidding aside there are multiple companies and products that claim to remove tattoos at home and honestly I have not tried all of them, but I can assure that to date none of them work as safe and effectively as a laser treatment. A majority of my clients have tried other methods previously including creams, abrasive treatments, acids, and even tattooing gels into the skin, and are now still needing laser treatments due to failed results. They may work at lightening the ink but it is going to take 3x more treatments than with the Picosure and with a greater risk of scarring to the skin.
MYTH. In my experience most colors of ink can be removed with the Picosure laser. There are multiple factors that determine how fast the ink will fade. The newer the tattoo the faster it will erase. The older the tattoo and more professionally done the longer it will take. Also if the area is already a cover-up or has been touched-up multiple times the layers of ink will again take a little longer. Blue, greens, and purples have an amazing response and diminish in just one treatment. Colors in the red family take the longest due to the composition in the ink.
MYTH. There is this big agency called the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that typically decides if certain procedures are safe for patients to undergo. The Picosure was FDA cleared in 2012 for tattoo removal. There have been thousands of reviews in the past two years from patients and doctors using this new technology. There are even some reports that there is a FDA approval with acne scarring with the Picosure as well.